This question already has an answer here:

The "Bee Gees" is actually a stylised expansion of the initials BGs, which in turn refers to initials of Barry Gibb, DJ Bill Gates and Bill Goode (or simply means Brothers Gibb).

"Eminem" comes from M&M, initials of Marshall Mathers.

Similarly, "Emcee" from pronunciation of M.C., abbreviation of master of ceremonies, a noun phrase attested from the 1660s.

In my place I see a lot of companies titled similarly, PeeKays (from initials PK), CeePee electronics, Kay Pee Em tours and travels etc.

Now, my username NVZ is an initialism. What if I expand it into En Vee Zee?

What is this type of naming called?

I don't think it's simply an acronym, or an initialism.

marked as duplicate by choster, Community Mar 9 '16 at 14:55

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


If you say it aloud, then it's just an initialism. If you proceed to spell it out with complete syllables, rather than letters, i thought at first you could say it's a "phonetically spelled initialism". On the other hand, "phonetically spelled" may suggest that a phonetic alphabet should be used, ie one in which the symbols represent specific sounds, unlike the more flexible regular alphabet.

So, perhaps the best reference is sensational spelling, in which a word is deliberately misspelled for effect. This is commonly used in branding to give an impression of uniqueness, and, perhaps more importantly, to allow the trademarking of the term. ("Blu-ray", "Mortal Kombat" etc - see "Sensational spelling" on Wikipedia)

So, i think you could call it a sensationally spelled initialism.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.